Here’s our round-up of industry bodies, associations, institutes, platforms and networks supporting PR, marketing and communications professionals in their career development and lives outside of work. This list includes many initialisms but more importantly, supportive places to turn to for networking, training, and a community for everyone in the industry. In no particular order…
BME PR Pros
Originally founded by senior comms consultant Elizabeth Bananuka as ‘a side-hussle and hobby that’s got a little out of control,’ BME PR Pros works to promote black, Asian and ethnic minority diversity in PR and comms. The platform offers a mentoring scheme, which has included mentors working at agencies and associations like Edelman, Ketchum, Transport for London, LinkedIn, PA Media Group and MoneySuperMarket – and has a ‘Pros We Love’ section bigging up people making waves in public relations. Elizabeth is also one of the people behind The Blueprint mark, helping organisations to attract, welcome, retain and nurture diverse talent groups. And for how you can help the BME PR Pros platform? As Elizabeth says, ‘Simple, do what you can to promote diversity in your organisation and the sector. The more initiatives? The better. More voices calling out the diversity problem? Even better.’
CIPR – Chartered Institute of Public Relations
As the world’s only Royal Chartered professional body for public relations practitioners, the CIPR’s mission is a grand one: ‘we work with and for our members to set, maintain and advance standards… Moreover, through our ethical Code of Conduct and searchable PR registers, we make our members accountable to their employers, clients and the wider public’. To help develop and support its members, both in terms of their careers and wellbeing, the institute offers qualifications including its Continuing Professional Development scheme and Accreditation and Chartership programmes, in-house and bespoke training as well as industry research, conferences and best practice and skills guidance. Check out its Diversity & Inclusion hub for reports and resources highlighting the work that still needs to be done to open the industry to everybody.
PRCA – Public Relations and Communications Association
Representing PR professionals across 70 countries globally – with offices in London, Singapore, Dubai and Buenos Aires – the PRCA aims to advocate for those working in public relations across the world. Championing professional standards with their Professional Charter and Code of Conduct, the association offers its members training as well as networking and personal development opportunities. The International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) and LGComms (Local Government Communications), are also managed by the PRCA. Working to make meaningful change in the industry, the association recently shook up its Board of Directors to welcome in wider experience and knowledge of the sector it serves, and has a dedicated Diversity Network in place.
Taylor Bennett Foundation
The Taylor Bennett Foundation charity was founded by communications executive search firm Taylor Bennett with the University of East London and founding agency Brunswick in 2008 to ‘encourage black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) graduates to pursue a career in communications’. Its award-winning PR, mentoring and internship programmes have enabled participants to enter the PR industry with the skillsets, knowledge and networking group to pursue successful careers. Employers can host visits for the Foundation’s trainees – 2019 hosts included Hope & Glory, Just Eat and Bupa – and live opportunities from agencies and in-house comms teams are available on the Jobs Board. For more about the work of the Taylor Bennett Foundation, read our interview with its chief executive Melissa Lawrence.
UK Black Comms Network
Gearing up for a full launch this Winter, the UK Black Comms Network’s mission is to increase the seniority of Black PR and communications professionals of African or Caribbean heritage in the UK to the point of true ‘equalityin the UK PR industry, with Black people authentically represented, in full colour and shade, in the UK media’. Join them on Wednesday, 16 September, to hear the full vision for the UK Black Comms Network and a conversation with its wellbeing consultant, and digital creator and found of wellbeing brand thy.self Chloe Pierre on Self Care September and why looking after yourself isn’t selfish – go sign up.
Women in PR
‘The PR & communications industry is female dominated (67%) overall. However, at senior levels, it becomes male dominated… Women in PR exists to address this imbalance.’ Aiming to increase the number of women in leadership roles across the PR and communications industry, Women in PR focuses on four key methods: inspiring, enabling, empowering and advocating. This includes speakers and knowledge-sharing events, the opportunity to network with other female leaders, mentoring and training, and fighting for change in work practices, policy and company culture. You can find updates from the group on the Blog channel as well as advice and think pieces from Women in PR members – including those from agency, in-house, public, and third sector and freelancers – with know-how to share.
If there are associations, unions or groups you’ve found supportive during your career in PR that we can highlight, please do get in touch and let us know.